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True Story Behind Viral German Shepherd Cemetery Picture

german shepherd cemetery
Image Credit: Vesna Mihajlosk

Viral German Shepherd Picture

A German Shepherd cemetery photo went viral years ago and continues to be shared and circulated on social media feeds here and there.

The original caption behind the photo is this:

“A dog dug a hole in the tomb of his owner who has just died so that he could be close to the person who he loves most.”

You may have seen this photo. You may have liked, hearted, commented, or shared this picture.

The photo and caption pull the heartstrings of dog owners. Our faithful four-legged companion’s love and loyalty will last after we are gone—the perfect recipe for a post to go viral.

german shepherd cemetery

Photo Credit: Vesna Mihajlosk

However, not everything on the internet is true.

Let’s take a moment to analyze the photo and caption.

  • How has the dog found the cemetery?
  • How does the dog know this is its owner’s gravesite?
  • The gravesite does not look fresh. How long has the dog’s owner been buried?

Yes, there are stories of lost or abducted dogs traveling thousands of miles across states on foot to be reunited with owners.

Yes, there are stories of dogs escaping shelters and returning to their homes.

Yes, dogs have an incredible sense of smell, with 50 times as many smell receptors as humans.

But, can a dog sniff out a deceased loved one who has possibly been embalmed and laid to rest in a casket that may be in a grave liner or burial vault?

Regardless of the misinformed viral caption, the true story of this German Shepherd cemetery picture is just as heartwarming and proves good people still exist in the world.

The picture of the German Shepherd lying in a hole under a grave headstone is accurate and happened in Novi Beograd, Serbia.

Vesna Mihajloski, an animal rescuer in the area, heard about the Shepherd at the cemetery and felt something was off about the story.

Mihajloski visited the cemetery and discovered the grieving male dog in the story was actually a female with newborn pups.

german shepherd cemetery and puppies

Photo Credit: Vesna Mihajlosk

The mama dog had dug a cave-like hole to birth and protect her litter. The German Shepherd mama had done her best to care for her four babies, but they were weak and needed medical attention.

Mihajloski rescued the family of five from the cold cemetery and successfully provided medical treatment, food, warmth, love, and safety.

german shepherd mama with pups

Photo Credit: Vesna Mihajlosk

The German Shepherd mama was determined to be a stray and later named “Mama” because of her sweet and attentive devotion to her offspring.

german shepherd mama with pups

Photo Credit: Vesna Mihajlosk

This picture initially went viral from the emotions of love and loyalty between an owner and a dog.

Now we know this picture represents a mother’s love and loyalty, along with survival and the kindness of one woman.

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